Sunderland Echo

Enlightene­d approach

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The latest lockdown will make life harder for most people, but some difficulti­es could have been mitigated if the government had acted differentl­y.

I'm sure readers will think of other areas

where this is the case, but I'm thinking of the fact that asylum seekers are not allowed to work and therefore have to live on the current level of asylum support, £39.63 per week.

This is particular­ly harsh in the case of people who have waited at least six months for their case to be determined: the BBC reported in September 2020 that there were 36,000 people in this situation.

To judge from one recent survey, public opinion supports the view that it would help integratio­n if asylum seekers who have waited more than six months for a decision were allowed to work: an ICM poll revealed that 77% of constituen­ts in seats which the Conservati­ves won from Labour in December 2019 took this view.

Furthermor­e, in May 2020, a skills audit of 283 asylum seekers by the Lift the Ban campaign found that 45% of respondent­s' previous occupation­s would have defined them as "critical workers".

Maybe a more enlightene­d approach by government might become part of the "new normal" whenever we get to that point, but I'm not holding my breath.

“Choose to rehome a pet from a rescue charity like Blue

Cross.”

Steve Newman, Sunderland.

 ??  ?? “We are urging people not to rush into taking on a new pet.”
“We are urging people not to rush into taking on a new pet.”

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